Monday, May 21, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 21, 2007. Gentleman. George Eliot. The German Dictatorship.

Note: A bold-face statement at the conclusion of a quote is my attempt to express a wordy or convoluted quote in plain English. RayS.

Gentleman 33 Emma: Compare [Mr. Martin, a farmer’s son] with their [Mr. Knightley and Mr. Weston, gentlemen] manner of carrying themselves; of walking; of speaking; of being silent...the older a person grows...the more important it is that their manners should not be bad--the more glaring and disgusting any loudness, or coarseness, or awkwardness becomes. Austen, Emma34 Emma on Mr. Elton, a clergyman, therefore, gentleman: Mr. Elton is good humored, cheerful, obliging, and gentle. Austen, Emma157 But the merit of the curricle did not all belong to the horses; Henry drove so well—so quietly—without making any disturbance, without parading to her, or swearing at them…and then his hat sat so well, and the innumerable capes of his great coat looked so becomingly important…to be driven by him, next to being dancing with him, was certainly the greatest happiness in the world. Austen, Northanger Abbey. 111 Castiglione’s The Courtier: ..ideal of a gentleman...must not hurt people’s feelings or make them feel inferior by showing off…must be easy and natural.... Clark, Civilization. 231 Gentleman: …a graceful unconcern and gentleman-like ease. Steele, 5/26/1711. The Spectator. 235 Gentleman: A man whose fortune is plentiful, shows an ease in his countenance, and confidence in his behavior which he that is under wants and difficulties cannot assume. Addison, 5/26/1711. [RFS comment: In short, a gentleman is “cool.”] The Spectator. [Definitions of a gentleman.]

Gentleman 33 Emma on Mr. Martin, a farmer’s son: Mr. Martin is now awkward and abrupt; what will he be at Mr. Weston’s time of life?...a completely gross, vulgar farmer--totally inattentive to appearances, and thinking of nothing but profit and loss. Austen, Emma. 149 Mr. Knightley: No, Emma, your amiable young man [Frank Churchill] can be amiable only in French, not in English....He may be very ‘amiable,’ have very good manners, and be very agreeable; but he can have no English delicacy towards the feelings of other people....I should be as ready to acknowledge his merits as any other man; but I hear of none, except what are merely personal; that he is well grown and good-looking, with smooth, plausible manners. Austen, Emma. 397 Emma on Frank Churchill after learning that he has been engaged to Miss Jane Fairfax since before coming to Highbury: None of that upright integrity, that strict adherence to truth and principle, that disdain of trick and littleness, which a man should display in every transaction of his life. Austen, Emma [Definitions of a non-gentleman.]

Gentleman 203 Mr. Frank Churchill on people who are reserved: It is a most repulsive quality...often times very convenient, no doubt, but never pleasing....there is safety in reserve, but no cannot love a reserved person. Austen, Emma [Someone who is shy and quiet can not be a gentleman]

Gentleman 206 ...liberal allowances were made for the little excesses of such a handsome young man--one who smiled so often and bowed so well. Austen, Emma [Allowances are made for the excesses of handsome men.]

Gentleman 446 Mr. Knightley: My Emma, does not everything serve to prove more and more the beauty of truth and sincerity in all our dealings with each other? Austen, Emma [We must honor truth and be sincere in our dealings with others.]

Gentleman 258 …Lydgate was always listened to, bore himself with the careless politeness of conscious superiority, and seemed to have the right clothes on by a certain natural affinity without ever having to think about them. George Eliot, Middlemarch. [He dressed perfectly but appeared to have given no thought to it.]

Gentlewoman 265 …stifling oppression of that gentlewoman’s world, where everything was done for her and none asked for her aid…. George Eliot, Middlemarch. [The gentlewoman’s oppressed world where everything was done for her and she was never asked for assistance.]

George Eliot
George Eliot 322 Middlemarch is a huge, intricate representation of an entire provincial society set in the recent past.... Bloom, Western Canon.

German Dictatorship
German Dictatorship 289 Total rule demands keeping the public under the constant pressure of major events and successes, distracting them from domestic coercion by holding out hope for external expansion, compensating for the loss of freedom by the constant acceleration of the sense of revolution and mission. Bracher, The German Dictatorship [Totalitarian rule means keeping the public’s focus on events, successes, hope and sense of mission.]

German Dictatorship 311 Hitler: “We must always ask so much that we cannot be satisfied.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship

German Dictatorship 342 The oppressed became oppressors, the subjugated became the master race which, though unable and not allowed to govern itself, could govern others. Bracher, The German Dictatorship [In Germany, the oppressed became the oppressors.]

German Dictatorship 422 Himmler: “Whether 10,000 Russian women keel over from exhaustion in the construction of an anti-tank ditch interests me only insofar as the ditch for Germany gets finished.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship [I don’t care how many people die completing the project, I am only interested in seeing that the project is completed.]

German Dictatorship 424 On July 16, 1941, Hitler gave as a reason for the mass executions the pacification of the “vast terrain”: “This can best be done by shooting dead anyone who even looks askance.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship [Euphemism for executions: “pacification.”]

German Dictatorship democracy 299 ...the alleged superiority of the dictatorships over the democracies, with their waning prestige and internal conflicts.... Bracher, The German Dictatorship [Dictatorships are superior to democracies because of the latter’s internal conflicts.]

German Dictatorship democracy 501 The German dictatorship has failed, but German democracy has not yet been secured. Bracher, The German Dictatorship [The German dictatorship has failed, but democracy is not yet secure.]

German Dictatorship individual religion 9 …modern dictatorship…calls for the extinction of the individual…forced him into mass organizations and commits him to a political creed which becomes a ‘political religion,’ a binding religious surrogate. Bracher, The German Dictatorship [Modern dictatorship calls for the extinction of the individual.]

Germany 498 The Germans--the “northern barbarians,” Santayana calls them--had never really accepted Roman Christianity...non-Christian ethics of valor and honor, a non-Christian fund of superstition, legend and sentiment...Gothic cathedrals were barbaric, not Roman. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana. [The Germans never accepted Roman Christianity.]

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